Dec. 5, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - Even though the calendar has not flipped to the New Year yet, the Tulane track and field squad is kicking off their 2014 season on Friday as they will compete at the BSC Panther Indoor Icebreaker in Birmingham, Ala., at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
Results from the competition will be posted to TulaneGreenWave.com at the conclusion of the meet.
The event will get started at 8:30am CST, with the weight throw. The remainder of the competition will start at 12:30pm CST, ending around 8:30pm CST. This year's competition at the BSC Panther Indoor Icebreaker will mark the third consecutive season that the Green Wave have started their season at this meet.
"The reason that we schedule a competition this early in the season is to give all of our track and field athletes who have been training throughout the fall and early winter an opportunity to have a competitive experience before we break for the holidays," said the director of Tulane track and field Eric Peterson. "We have realized over the past couple of years that it has been beneficial to schedule a meet like this that is close by and easy to get to, and yet still give these athletes an opportunity to be tested."
Last year's meet saw 12 top-10 finishes for the Green Wave, highlighted by pole vaulter Merritt Van Meter's then-record-setting jump of 4.00 meters (13-1.5) that set not only the BSC Panther Indoor Icebreaker record, but also notched the top jump in indoor school history in her Tulane debut.
Fellow pole vaulter Jessica Knierim had an outstanding day at the meet last year, posting a then-personal-best jump of 3.55 meters (11-7.75), good for fourth place in the event. High jumper Melanie Mainor posted a then-personal best of 1.65 meters (5-5). Sophomore Lilla McMillan burst onto the scene last year in the 200 meter dash, placing sixth out of 64 in her collegiate debut with a time of 24.86.
In addition to the four who posted solid outings at the BSC Panther Indoor Icebreaker in 2013, the Green Wave will also get performances out of returning pole vaulters Joanna Lapucha and Haley Miller, as well as Tamika Brazzel in the triple jump and long jump and Briana Santiago in the triple jump. All entered the Tulane record books last season for their performances in their events.
"I know that the older kids on the team have a much better sense of how to prepare for this type of event," said Peterson. "They are excited at an appropriate level for the competition. That's why I think we were able to see some good early season marks right out of the gate (in 2013)."
On top of the seasoned veterans, five student-athletes will be making their track and field collegiate debuts on Friday. Dominique Hever (400 meter dash), Allison Wegner (800 meter run and 4 x 400 meter relay), Mary Carson Pitts (pole vault), Emma Staisloff (pole vault) and Taylor Potts (shot put) will all compete for the first time as members of the Tulane track and field family.
While Cheyenne Swanson competed heavily in the discus during the outdoor campaign last year, she will make her indoor debut in the weight throw on Friday. Dana Ohlson will join Swanson in the event after competing mostly in shot put last season.
"We know that the freshmen are going to be nervous, but hopefully, they are going to handle that well and get off to a good start," said Peterson.
"We need to have a sense of where our athletes are, and where they stand at a competitive stage," stated Peterson. "This will give us a lot of information as to what we need to emphasize in their training. We are not expecting personal records at this point in time, but we do hope they can perform at a level that they have indicated they can perform at practice. The 20 athletes that we will be sending are healthy, and they will not be overworked during the meet. We just want to see where they are, and we want to break the ice."
The Green Wave won't return to action until after the New Year, when they will head back to Birmingham, Ala., for the UAB Blazer Invitational on Jan. 10-11.
Fans can follow the Tulane track and field programs on Twitter (@GreenWaveXCTF) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TulaneXCTF.
Women's 200m Dash
Women's 400m Dash
Women's 800m Run
Women's 4 x 400m Relay
A group of four from the following: Adamson,McMillan,Woods,Hever,Kreutzberg,Wegner
Women's High Jump
Women's Pole Vault
Mary Carson Pitts
Merritt Van Meter
Women's Long Jump
Women's Triple Jump
Women's Shot Put
Women's Weight Throw